We sat with General Steele a while ago for an extensive interview after police shut down the release party of the very dope Monumental album by Pete Rock & Smif N Wessun. After we got through with the nitty gritty , I wanted to ask about a beef tat flew under the radar for years outside of BK Hip-Hop and New York. During an ongoing misunderstanding between Duck Down group OGC (Originoo Gunn Clappaz) and Biggie’s Junior Mafia, Starang Wondah from OGC got run up on in the legendary D&D Studios. Thankfully no one got seriously hurt and eventually the beef was squashed. But for those who didn’t know or those who wondered what the hell it was all about, we got that butter. Enjoy.
Planet Ill: There was a little something with Biggie and OGC . Now everyone looks back [at Biggie] like, greatest rapper of all time, and there’s universal love. But tell us about some of the animus that was going on back then. What was the source of the problem and how did you move forward from that?
General Steele: This incident with Biggie and Jr. Mafia man, looking back at it now, and even looking at it then, it was due to immaturity. Cats were young and eager and Hip-Hop will mold your mind into something at times. I only say that because OGC, they had did a song where Top Dog starts, “I can be as good as the rest of them but as baaad as the worst, so don’t test me…” That’s how he started his rhyme.
So one night, we went to the Palladium and that was the first night that these guys performed that song. Biggie and Jr. Mafia was there. Couple days later, what do we hear on the radio? “You can be as good as the rest of them but as baaad as the worst” in the chorus that Biggie had did. Immediately cats was like, Oh Shit!” Why would he do that? Misinterpretations and dudes was upset. They like wow, he steal from us? That’s family, yadda yadda, and cats wanted to do something about it. He stole their verse.
Now mind you these are the young cats.
Planet Ill: Yeah they the babies so ya’ll gotta…
General Steele: Yeah. We taking the heat, but at the same time me and Tek was the ones that was like that shit ain’t about nothing. But not you got this industry shit factored in where it’s like, “Wait a minute, maybe you guys can use this.” We actually had producers of videos, video producers offering to say, hey why don’t we have a fake Biggie Smalls and a fake Faith and you know, you guys are kicking them off stage.”
And you know the young guys are like yo whatever. Word let’s do it
Planet Ill: We trying to get on so we don’t care what it is.
General Steele: Right! Again Tek lives up the block form them. We hang out with them, we smoke with these cats. And some of them we went to school with so we’re not really thinking like we’re about to get into some drama right now. And that’s the thing with the young artists again where you see right now being perpetuated amongst these young cats right now. Totally lack respect and if I could turn back the hands of time for anything that would be one of the things right there because that shit was so petty. It’s so petty man and that brother [Biggie] he wasn’t that type of cat. And not to mention that that particular line, that particular chorus, they BOTH stole! Nobody really own it, it belongs to another n***a.
The way it happened it was like, “Oh Wow! That’s our single we was about to come out with that. Yoo!” And then you have all these other cats, all these outside industry label cats that are like “Yo, let’s take advantage of this and bla bla bla. That’s a publicity stunt gone wrong on the part of the label wanting to press for that and push for that. They pushed for that shit. When you look at that video, you see Tek and Steele in there for about 1.2 seconds. Cause we wanted nothing to do with that shit. But at the same time, if we would have said, “Don’t do this guys,” we’d have looked like the older cats that was hating.
Planet Ill: Oh you gone let them diss us?
General Steele: Right. “Come on you did your shit, let me do me.” But I support the youngins but at the same time I try to guide them as much as possible. But the thing about youngins they want to make they own way. They want to make they own bones. So sometimes you get caught up in these things and get swept away. It’s fortunate that that was able to be fixed even after all the craziness
Planet Ill: It didn’t’ go too far after the studio incident.
General Steele: That studio incident was crazy man. Me personally, I be getting in trouble with Boot Camp because I be wanting to tell the whole truth and nothing but truth. But I wasn’t there at the studio, so my truth would be third party truth. So for the cats that was there at the studio, if none of them cats want to talk about the details, Starang Wondah personally, uh, Dru, Buck and couple other cats that was there. If they don’t want to tell the whole truth I guess they want of let that shit just go; it’s old news things are back.
We lost a good brother [Biggie] and thank God it had nothing to do with that, just some other stupid ass reason. But I love Biggie an I have a love for Jr. Mafia as well and they good cats and we all out here trying to do our thin and survive in this music.
Planet Ill: Whatever happened to Starang and the rest of OGC? Are they still in-house? What’s going on with them?
General Steele: Top Dog is on the Monumental Album. Starang was just recently released from prison and Louisville is out if Atlanta. Rockness Monstah just came and recorded in my studio to send his verse to Louisville. So Louieville had metamorphosized into this soul artist. Let ti be known the General is going to talk the truth. I’m not going to give you all these corny ass fake one liners. But these guys haven’t recorded together since their last album. Starang retired back then, he ain’t want no parts of this shit anymore. But for some reason Boot Camp will not let this guy put is pen down. Whether it’s Sean P having one on one talk with him or whether it’s Rockness Monstah having talks with him. And then you got Dru Ha. They stay trying to persuade him or coerce him to put his pen right up.
But one thing about Starang, he’s not a flashy rapper; he’s one of these character rap guys. He’s done rhymes without writing at all. Now I’m going to say a lot fo his stuff was done without writing at all cause he actually knows what he wants to say, he talks about what’s going on. He’s story orientated and it’s not too much rippity rappity like some of the stuff I do…
Planet Ill: Not technically proficient but telling a tale…
General Steele: Right he’s not into that. It’s in the works, we’re about to start working on the Boot Camp album. They have been talking amongst each other in terms of getting back in the studio and doing an OGC project, and I really hope that they do. We hope that they do because they split up and right now they really need to get back together.
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